The Special Stars league began five years ago in Windsor. (CBC News)

The Windsor-Essex Special Stars have faced off for the first time against a semi-pro soccer team.

Sunday night, the team for autistic soccer players played the Windsor Stars.

Since its inception five years ago, the Special Stars league has grown from its start in Windsor right across the country.

Team founder Patrick Roberts said the league has been a huge success, and Sunday's game shows it.

"I can't even express it," he said. "There's not enough words to say thank you to [the Windsor Stars]. For this game to happen, I mean it was a little bit of work, and it's been like a month of work for me to set things up. And I want things perfect for [the Special Stars]."

Roberts had special t-shirts made for the team, and created special ribbons for the players.

Luke Kuzmas has played on the team for a few years now.

"I've gotten way faster at running, and I've gotten a way harder shot, which originally already was hard," he said. "I have also learned some new 'deke' moves and beautiful ways to pick the corners.

"I'm very grateful for the coaches and everyone else who has helped me through this magnificent career."

The Special Stars league began with two teams. Since then, it has grown to 14 teams across the province.